I’m convinced: life is all about fucking up.
We simply aren’t capable of internalizing a lesson until we fuck up and make a mistake… and usually more than just once or twice.
I’m currently 25. Just five years ago I was an insecure college virgin with no idea about what I wanted to do with my life.
Now? Well, I’ve still got infinite room for growth and improvement, but I’ve come a long way for sure. I started this website and grew it into something that completely supports me financially. I’ve written and published over five bestselling books. I’ve transformed my body and built over 40 pounds of muscle.
And best of all – I feel completely comfortable and confident in my own skin each and every day.
My twenties have been by far the most productive, transformative, and straight-up important years of my life. And it’s all because I finally started to take action, try new things, fuck up, make mistakes, and then learn from them.
Here are 20 of my top mistakes from the last five years…
1. Giving too many fucks about what other people think
I used to give so many fucks. I cared about what everyone thought about me… And it paralyzed me.
Being self-conscious is a natural, socially conditioned behavior that we all have to break free from. Things like approaching women, sharing my thoughts and ideas publically via this site, and quitting my job have been crucial tools that have allowed me to break free from this curse.
2. Believing women alone would bring me happiness
When I was a virgin, I thought that finally having sex would make me complete. When I broke up with my first girlfriend, I was devastated and thought that getting her back would somehow solve all my issues and make me happy. When I was single after that, I thought that getting with a bunch of girls would make me complete.
None of these things made much of a difference when I accomplished them (well, I never got that one girl back, but it wouldn’t have either). None of them brought me happiness.
Sure, spending time with a quality girl is a good thing that can add value to your life… In fact I have an awesome girlfriend right now… but don’t fall for the trap of believing that having a girlfriend, or a bunch of hookups, will “make everything better”, because It most definitely will not.
3. Avoiding the work involved in creating something
Whether I’m building a website, writing a book, or filming and editing a new video course – the time I’ve spent creating things of my own is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. It simply fills me with an intense and unmatched pleasure and motivation that keeps me coming back for more.
4. Regretting the past and worrying about things I can’t control
In life, there are things we can control and things we cannot. When you spend time thinking about things that you can’t affect, like the past, you waste mental energy and set yourself up for misery and depression. The best route is to always accept reality, however inconvenient it may be, make a plan that takes any new circumstances into account, and then take immediate action on it.
5. Trying to get better at something by reading about it
Whether it’s becoming a better writer, a stronger public speaker, or a more skilled Muay Thai fighter – nothing beats performing more and more repetitions. Reading and thinking about things is never even close to as effective as getting out there and actually doing them (although reading is definitely still a good complement to taking action).
6. Believing I need something else to be happy
At the end of the day, as long as I’m happy with myself, nothing else matters. I can’t control much else outside of my own thoughts. Things don’t usually go my way. People oftentimes suck and fail to live up to my expectations. But as long as I’m happy with myself… well then… I’ll be happy.
7. Spending time with too few other people
You are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So make sure that you diversify your group of closest friends so that you can take on each of their best traits and avoid becoming dependent on any of them for approval or validation.
I’ve definitely confined myself to groups of 2 or 3 friends in the past, and it surely hindered my development in every instance.
8. Eating like shit
When I was big into bodybuilding, bulking up, and getting huge, I bought into the IIFYM hype (basically a dietary approach that’s all about eating the right amount of food regardless of the quality) – and while it worked in terms of improving my physique and building muscle, it took a big toll on my health and my day-to-day energy. Focusing on whole foods like meat, fruits, and veggies makes a huge difference compared to stuffing my face with ice cream and pizza.
9. Trying too hard to get “huge”
Lifting weights is the most efficient way to build muscle and burn fat, and every man should do it.
But at one point I became completely obsessed with getting big and building muscle… and it ended up crippling my digestive system… and my self-esteem in the process. Lifting weights is amazing, yes, but it should never become your life’s purpose.
10. Trying to avoid suffering and struggling
There’s no good without bad to compare it to… and no pleasure without pain to compare it to…
When I finally realized that I couldn’t “avoid” the bullshit, and that it has to be experienced and endured, it removed a lot of the sting of shitty situations… It’s simply a part of life.
11. Believing that letting go of things would be easy
From breakups to lost t-shirts, it always sucks when you lose something. Studies even show that people are more motivated by the fear of losing something than the prospect of gaining something new.
This has not gotten any easier for me… And so I believe it’s part of the bullshit you just have to accept.
12. Maintaining the same few hobbies for years
Sometimes life gets boring… And sometimes a new business venture or just changing jobs or moving isn’t enough to make things interesting again… This is when learning new skills, simply for the pleasure of getting good at something new, is a good option.
My newest hobby is Muay Thai – I’m currently prepping for an amateur fight this summer.
13. Neglecting the power of building a social circle
I’ll say it again – you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and this applies to your success in any business or activity. I didn’t get good with women until I found friends who were also trying to improve their dating skills. I didn’t start to make decent money online until I teamed up with other successful entrepreneurs.
Find people who are at your level or slightly ahead of you, and they’ll surely catapult your progress forward.
14. Getting caught in the trap of wanting more
The biggest trap of all might be falling for the belief that getting more and more “things” will make you happy… It’s 100% pure bullshit. And the best way to train yourself to forget about wanting more and more is to remind yourself of everything that you already have that you’re grateful for. We’re all already complete as we are. Stop tricking yourself.
15. Not focusing on my breathing in times of stress
Focused breathing is the magic of meditation… It also happens to be what doctors prescribe to patients with anxiety issues.
I used to go crazy and let my negative emotions and thoughts spiral out of control when I was in a shitty mood. Now? I focus on taking deep “belly breaths” and it almost always brings me back to a normal, non-negative state where I can reconsider whatever it is that pissed me off in the first place, rather than spiraling down an endless rabbit hole of stupid bullshit.
16. Hesitating due to the fear of fucking up
Every time I’ve hesitated and hesitated, before finally doing something, it’s always gotten exponentially easier after that. You simply can’t think your way into success – you must take action.
There was a long time when I wanted to get better with girls but did nothing. There was a long time when I wanted to start a website but did nothing. There was a long time when I wanted to start a YouTube channel but did nothing.
All of these things seemed like colossal challenges that would take lots and lots of time and effort to succeed in… And they did… But once I actually started taking action on all of them they became infinitely easier. Once you have forward momentum, the path of least resistance changes – and navigating past any obstacles that arise becomes far easier.
17. Getting attached to my smartphone
This is now one of my biggest pet peeves when other people do it, but I used to look at my smartphone all the fucking time.
Bored at home… look at smartphone. Nervous at a party… look at smartphone. Waiting in line… look at smartphone.
Your phone can become a coping device if you let it… And it’s just plain insulting for someone to pull out their smartphone when you’re taking your time and spending it with them.
18. Taking my health for granted
It wasn’t until I got lyme disease… and then broke both of my ankles and feet… and then experienced several painful digestive disorders… and then the next thing… that I realized how amazing it is when my entire body is healthy and functioning as it should. Never take your health for granted – it can be snatched from you at a moment’s notice.
19. Blaming others for my own shortcomings
It’s easy to blame other people, or other things, when the shit hits the fan. It’s the path of least resistance…
But when you man up and shoulder the blame, you start to feel in control of your life and learn from your mistakes… and other people will respect you for it. When I finally started doing this in my work life and personal life, I immediately felt infinitely far more empowered and confident.
20. Expecting other people to give a fuck about me
We’re all raised by our, hopefully, caring parents – and this can make us soft. We get used to their affection and having them caring for us at an early age, and then we expect the rest of the world to do the same.
Everyone is inherently selfish and self-centered… and this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just something that you have to keep in mind when interacting with others. Bring them value, talk to them in regards to their interests, and then they will respond in kind and take interest in you and your life.
But talk all about yourself and only ask for favors – and then you’re sure to alienate yourself from everyone you meet.